So Google’s facing an inquiry from the European Commission after accusations of anti-trust. Naturally, Google’s not taking this lying down. On the European Public Policy blog, Matt Cutts responds to allegations of anti-competitive practices by sharing their secret sauce, PageRank. But are they transparent enough?
(Yeah, the link is just the original Stanford paper on Google that discusses the basic principles of PageRank as defined 10 years ago.)
Google outlines all its efforts to help webmasters and increase its transparency, including:
- “Google has continued to publish literally hundreds of research papers over the years. Those papers reveal many of the “secret formulas” for how Google works and document essential infrastructure that Google uses.”
- “In 1999, Sergey Brin participated in the first Search Engine Strategies conference for webmasters.”
- “In 2001, Google became one of the first search engines to engage online at a publisher forum called WebmasterWorld. One representative (GoogleGuy) has posted over 2800 times, while another (AdWordsAdvisor) has posted almost 5000 times.”
- “Google now has over 70 official blogs, including an official webmaster blog specifically to help site owners understand how Google works and help them rank appropriately in our search results.”
- Live webmaster chats and in-person conferences
- Webmaster Tools
Although lots of lawsuits and disgruntled individuals claim that Google is an evil black box, the list of things they’ve done to reach out and help webmasters is impressive (even if a lot of webmasters don’t know about it)—and I just listed things till I got bored.
What do you think? Has Google made enough of an effort to be transparent and helpful? Is this an adequate defense against anti-trust allegations?